Danes'N Muslims

It can't be this easy to provoke Muslim insecurities can it? Then again I rarely believe whatever comes out of police states. Most people you see at rallies from Cuba to Syria are organized by the state and thus do not reflect the feelings of the general population at large. Nonetheless, the latest anger showcased from the infamous (and possibly mythical) 'Arab Street' does reveal some intriguing things about how we deal with 'outrage' in that part of the world. In the process, we learn a little about ourselves.

Many a Scandal-navians are scratching their blond hairs today I am sure.

Let's see, a cartoon in a Danish newspaper which is circulated throughout the Scandinavian paper circuit leads to the burning of the Danish embassy by Muslims in Beirut? So, if Muslims were the leaders of modern polity it stands to reason that Americans should have reacted to a Turkish movie depicting American soldiers as brutal animals by burning down the Turkish embassy on U.S. soil? Another persons absurdity is another persons reality I suppose.

How should we rationalize all this? The Arab world is justifying their actions by pointing out that the cartoon was inflammatory. If you do not like something there are other ways to voice your opposition. Notice the different approaches to perceived ill-will; the general American reaction to the Turkish film has been indifference while Muslims reacted by burning the Danish flag. Oh dear, if the peaceful Danes are not immune to this sort of thing what hope do the major powers have?

And where exactly did they get these flags? I can barely get my hands on a Canadian flag and these people have Danish ones handy? The American 'drapeau' I can see since everyone wants a piece of one but Denmark? No offense to the great Danes, but Denmark?

Obviously, someone supplied the protestors with them. "Hello, they did what? Allah wants us where? I'm so there."

"People, here are some matches, mustaches and two Danish flags. Burn them wisely. Don't mind the cameraman he's just working on term paper."

What about propaganda? A cynic grown disillusioned with democracy will point that democratic propaganda is far ore subtle and sophisticated. The apparent free state is not, well, free if you get their drift. I'll stop here.

The whole episode is entirely preposterous to our sensibilities in the West. Therein lies the massive differences between the two societies. Muslims have yet to flick off certain things in order to choose their battles wisely. The West is constantly chastised, belittled and attacked by vitriolic commentators and religious clerics in the Middle-East. Where's our outrage?

Usually immature, less developed and insecure societies react with anger to innocuous stories. How their leaders react to it will greatly dictate the degree of the people's 'will.' Being distasteful is not the same as being racist. Here in Canada we have been known to over react at times. Out come the curling brooms and hockey sticks in thin-skinned anger when our peaceful sophisticated society is made fun of.

What also caught my eye in the CNN report of the story was the disclosed line at the end of the article stipulating that they decided not to reprint the pictures out of respect for Islam.

Cheat me out of some laughs, will they? Ok, as I shake my head furiously, let's see if I follow this. As we have seen, the media in the West (and in the U.S. in particular) have no problem fighting to print information that can be sensitive to national security or questionable stories that can amount to treason by invoking the freedom of the press. Yet they show restraint, responsiblity and sensitivity to Islam about lousy cartoons? Curious stuff.

Freedom is a selective process for the media elite. The only casualty here is exactly that - liberty. Do we fear Muslim backlash to the point of sacrificing our own rights? We are slowly losing grip on perspective.

Sigh, where do I buy a Turkish or Syrian flag?

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